Claire Meade

Griffiths & Armour Professional Risks
Client Services Director

Claire Meade

Griffiths & Armour Professional Risks
Client Services Director

Claire joined Griffiths & Armour in 2001 via our Graduate Training Programme, where she gained experience of working in a variety of areas across the business, including the Professional Risks division before taking on responsibility for a portfolio of diverse clients.

Claire’s specialty is Large clients but her role also involves support for our broader work with a range of Professional Bodies. She has extensive experience of providing specialist Professional Indemnity (PI) and risk management guidance for clients in the construction sector, ranging from small and medium sized firms to larger multi-disciplinary, multinational organisations. Through these activities, Claire has developed an in-depth knowledge, not only of UK insurance policies but also the nuances of more complex global insurance placements.

Claire, how has the formation of the Client Services Board benefitted clients and Griffiths & Armour?

The introduction of the Board has had a hugely positive impact for clients and colleagues alike. Internally, our colleagues have a reference point for each area of specialism and another opportunity for progression. Externally, I think clients value a Board dedicated to serving their best interests and one that will continue to adapt and evolve into the future.

The existence of the Board has also left us particularly well placed to deliver on the requirements of the new Consumer Duty regulations which have recently come into force in the UK.  The over-arching purpose of the regulations is to deliver best outcomes for clients which dovetails perfectly with the objectives of our Client Services Board.

Some of the many ways that we do this is through our thought leadership that is delivered to clients on a ongoing basis, through regular calls and ad-hoc meetings where we are able to advise of any changes that they need to be made aware of.

Longevity of staff is a key differentiator at Griffiths & Armour and something that I think is of huge benefit to colleagues and clients. The majority of Client Services Directors joined via our Graduate Trainee Programme and whilst we each bring our own unique perspective, we’ve all grown through the firm and alongside our clients, many of whom we’ll have known since our earliest days at G&A.

What initiatives are you currently involved with?

One of the areas I’m focusing on is raising awareness of the work we do with Professional Bodies in the construction industry. Everyone in G&A is very proud of the partnerships built with respected institutions such as IStructE, ACE and AGS, BIBA, Engineers Ireland and the Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland, and we welcome the opportunity to support their work advising and supporting members on issues associated with liability and PI insurance.

I am also heavily involved with international risks and the implementation of a centralised approach for all global PI insurance placements. When an insurance programme is placed locally or overseas, I often consult Client Service Directors, Thomas Alston, Lee Walker and Claire Ault on the insurance and claims considerations, which is another benefit of having this as a designated area within the Client Services Board.

What work has the Griffiths & Armour team undertaken alongside Professional Bodies?

Our team are passionate about advocating for change in the construction industry and achieving a fairer balance of risk and reward for the consultancy sector. All our work with Professional Bodies is about improving the legal, commercial and operational environment our clients are operating in. Over the past number of years, it has also been about helping firms to navigate their way through a very difficult PI Insurance market and engaging with Government and others on the underlying causes.

It’s also about education and we regularly undertake activities to support members of Professional Bodies through webinars, the creation of CPD modules and regular articles published in newsletters and digital magazines.  I was particularly pleased to participate in a recent IStructE roundtable event on timber construction and to contribute to their guidance on the circular economy.

The knowledge gained through such activities also helps to inform our team on the issues that matter to construction professionals; broadening their knowledge and leaving them better placed to deliver on our clients’ insurance and risk management needs.

Do you have any stand-out moments from your career at Griffiths & Armour?

One of my favourite aspects of my career at Griffiths & Armour is the long-term partnerships established with colleagues and clients. I’ve often been described as an extension of a client’s business rather than an external adviser – I take that as a real compliment. In many instances, when new people join our clients’ businesses, I have been asked to participate in their induction process due to my knowledge from working alongside them for many years, in some cases over 20 years.

Other highlights have included client presentations, where we have helped improve people’s understanding of their exposures and then witnessed how they implement that guidance into their processes and procedures. Our team of brokers are also often dealing with complicated risks and it’s always interesting structuring innovative and effective solutions for the more complex cases. This is where the benefits of our multi-skilled and diverse team really come to the fore – in that sense, we are very fortunate to be able to draw upon specialist, in-house knowledge that simply doesn’t exist within most other insurance broking firms.

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